Postdoctoral researcher in wastewater-based epidemiology

The Computational Evolution Group, led by Prof. Dr. Tanja Stadler, in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher in wastewater-based epidemiology. This project is part of a large 4-year collaborative project on wastewater-based infectious disease surveillance, involving our group, the group of Prof. Dr. Niko Beerenwinkel (D-BSSE, ETH Zurich; statistical modelling and computational data analysis) as well as Dr. Tim Julian (EAWAG; virus detection in wastewater) and Dr. Christoph Ort (EAWAG; characterizing catchment properties).

Wastewater-based epidemiology offers a promising approach to track infectious disease dynamics independent from clinical surveillance. By tracking viruses shed into wastewater through time, we can monitor epidemiological dynamics of different diseases and anticipate future trends. You will work as part of a team with Prof. Dr. Tanja Stadler and the other groups involved in the collaboration. Your specific role will to advance modeling and statistical approaches to translate viral loads and viral sequences obtained from wastewater into meaningful, policy-relevant indicators of epidemic trajectories.

The project goals are:

  • Characterizing the advantages and limitations of wastewater compared to clinical surveillance to inform public health through the example of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Quantifying the epidemiological dynamics of endemic coronaviruses and the factors shaping these dynamics, such that long-term scenarios for SARS-CoV-2 can be proposed.
  • Detailed real-time tracing of seasonal influenza, aiming to quickly evaluate the risk of a major upcoming wave.
  • Applying the developed methods to study the epidemiological dynamics of other viruses monitored in wastewater, in particular non-respiratory infections such as noroviruses and enteroviruses.
  • Throughout the project any insights we gain into the epidemiological dynamics of ongoing outbreaks that can help inform intervention strategies will be communicated to the Federal Office of Public Health in Switzerland.

We are looking for a highly motivated early career researcher with strong quantitative skills. You will have completed a PhD in computational biology, mathematical modelling, biomathematics, epidemiology or a related discipline prior to starting the position. Experience with mathematical epidemiology is beneficial, but not a requirement for the position. A familiarity with NGS sequencing technology, and in particular amplicon sequencing, is further desirable but not required. You will engage in interdisciplinary research as part of a team, so clear and effective communication skills are a priority. We value an open and inclusive group culture. As a member of the Computational Evolution group, you will be expected to help us maintain a positive team dynamic and a welcoming work environment. Our working language in the group is English and no knowledge of German is required. In line with our commitment to an open and inclusive group culture we welcome applications from individuals of all demographic groups and personal backgrounds.

The position is fixed-term for 2 years with the possibility of extension. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. We will review applications as they come in, until the position is filled.

ETH Zürich
Closing date
August 28th, 2022
Posted on
July 28th, 2022 10:19
Last updated
July 28th, 2022 10:19